Apart from that windy EKKA weekend, life on the water has been pretty calm this past month. In this area, the worst type of wind to fish in is a strong, dry westerly, so it was good that it didn’t last for long. Lately, it’s been only slight morning breezes, usually lifting a little in the afternoon or around the turn of tide. There have been occasional forecasts for more wind from the Bureau of Meteorology but so far - cool nights, dewy mornings and warm days – perfect fishing weather!
The big flathead fishing has been keeping most boaties happy. Early morning starts, and casting out lures, have been very successful strategies for bringing home some decent fish. Casting at the mouth of Ningi Creek, with a “Z-man Trick SwimZ in Green Lantern” resulted in a nice flathead catch for Tim last week.
Hard-bodied lures and live yabbies or bait fish have certainly been the best choices, but mullet fillets and prawns are also teasing the flathead to strike. Mel’s not saying exactly where her favourite fishing spot is, but she brought in two flathead - 54cm and 42cm, which were caught with mullet and prawns.
While Ningi Creek has been a favourite spot for the flathead, the westerlies might have pushed a lot of them out into the Passage lately. Good-sized flathead have been found south of the bridge, on the sandbanks, on the mainland side. That’s where James caught a 50+ cm flathead. Unfortunately, he had it in a bag over the side of the boat, to keep it fresh, and it escaped, to see another day. Tom and his mates were a bit luckier, bringing home three of them from the south side of the bridge; falling tide.
You can catch plenty of flathead, even in winter winds, by being persistent and looking for spots on the western shore of the Passage - unaffected by the westerly wind and draining with the falling tide. Mark, a local, likes to try the gutter which runs from the third green marker off White Patch, up to the north of Parrot Island. He uses the run-out tide there, to get himself some flathead. It’s a bit tricky and you need to be careful or you’ll get your boat stuck for a few hours but last week it worked a treat for Mark! Mullet fillets were the bait.
Shore-based flathead fishing is also going well, especially since the wind dropped - casting out over the sandflats at White Patch and using the tidal flow to move the bait along.
Banksia Beach has been a good place to go for whiting for the past month or two. The yabby banks over there keep the whiting close at this time of year; a rising tide is the best time. North of Ningi Creek is another handy spot to try. Prawns, squid and, of course, live yabbies or live worms are good baits to try out. There have been a few schools of tailor up there too, after the whiting.
Further out of the Passage, whiting schools have been on and off at the Cockle Banks off Bribie. A “big, big” school of tuna were sighted by Anthony and mates, in a feeding frenzy near there last week, probably chasing the whiting. Pauline and Paul were able to feed the family (and friends) two nights running, with a haul of whiting, from 100 metres south of the south cardinal marker.
The better spots for bream have been in the Pacific Harbour canals, the drop-off at White Patch near the red channel marker for Wright’s Creek, the bridge (mainly at low tide), below the lock-gate on the canal at Bongaree and from Bongaree jetty.
The Fishability Qld Platform Community Fish-off, held at the start of August, at Bongaree jetty, was a very successful day for everyone, with 65 participants. Lots of laughs, and good fun all round. Carmel is a regular Fishability fan – she always gets the fish, and this time she got a MASSIVE 35cm stonefish! Also of note: a junior mackerel – 40cm. There were plenty of under-sized fish; the biggest bream was 27cm.
Another great event held recently was the kayak-fishing competition, with 43 anglers paddling out two weekends ago, from Banksia Beach. About 45-50 flathead were caught. The average size was 40-50cm, with two flathead 63-64cm in length. Bream were also caught by the kayakers - the largest of these was 31.5cm. Organiser, Tim, said the event “went well – most people got their fish throwing soft plastics and diving hardbodies. Can’t say any lures worked better than others as most brands worked.”
Lastly, the crabbing has been predictably slow. If the westerlies do pick up more, try the ocean beaches, for tailor and other pelagics.